Chaminade University is named after Father William Chaminade (1767-1850), a French Catholic priest who lived through the French Revolution and the rise and fall of Napoleon. During the Revolution the Catholic Church was persecuted: churches and church land were taken over by the state and clergy who did not cooperate were frequently executed. For five years Father Chaminade ministered to his people in secret, under the constant threat of death by the guillotine.
In 1817 Father Chaminade founded the Society of Mary (Marianists). A primary purpose of the Marianists is to educate leaders trained for a new age. Father Chaminade, having seen the excesses of the Enlightenment and of secular religions, taught that human reason is not enough and that faith and reason must be combined for human beings to reach their fullest potential. At the same time, he realized that the Catholic Church must become a more positive and egalitarian force for spiritual growth and material well-being in the modern world. The education of servant leaders who have a strong professional background and a mature faith and ethical sensibility are hallmarks of Marianist education. Today there are 111,000 students in Marianist schools and universities in 30 countries.
The Marianists first arrived in Hawaii in 1883. They assumed the leadership of St. Anthony’s School in Wailuku, Maui; St. Joseph’s School in Hilo; and St. Louis School in Honolulu. In September 1955, the Marianists opened St. Louis Junior College on the St. Louis School campus. Under the direction of the Reverend Robert R. Mackey, S.M., it provided a two-year liberal arts program. Two years later the college expanded its programs and became a four-year coeducational college with the name of Chaminade College of Honolulu. In 1967 Chaminade extended its services to the community with the establishment of an evening program. A decade later, Chaminade College became Chaminade University of Honolulu. Chaminade University has close relations with two sister universities located on the U.S. mainland. The University of Dayton, founded by the Marianists in 1850, in Dayton, Ohio and St. Mary’s University, founded by the Marianists in San Antonio, Texas, in 1852.
1.1.1 Chaminade’s Symbols
Chaminade University’s colors are royal blue and white. The flaming sword on the Chaminade seal symbolizes the twofold “word”: the Word of God, the life of the soul; and the word of man, the life of the mind. It also represents the dual purpose of Chaminade: to guide students toward truth and faith and toward the aesthetic, cultural, and scientific truths of the human race; and to educate men and women endowed with the sense of their rich cultural heritage.
The University seal includes the words “Vita in Verbo” – Life in the Word. Chaminade is also identified with the rare Silversword plant, indigenous to Hawaii and found on Haleakala, a dormant volcano on the Island of Maui. The flowers of this exotic plant are said to resemble the Cross, the symbol of the Christian faith. Chaminade’s athletic teams bear the name Silverswords.
The University logo depicts the Chapel of the Mystical Rose, an integral part of campus life. It is the site for worship and Christian fellowship, a place to nurture a maturing relationship with God and humankind.
1.1.2 Presidents of Chaminade University
|Rev. Robert R. Mackey, S.M., PhD||1955-1966|
|Rev. William F. Ferree, S.M., PhD||1966-1968|
|Bro. Robert Maguire, S.M., PhD||1968-1974|
|Rev. Charles J. Lees, S.M. PhD||1975-1977|
|Rev. David H. Schuyler, S.M., PhD||1977-1981|
|Rev. Raymond A. Roesch, S.M., PhD||1982-1989|
|Kent M. Keith, JD||1989-1995|
|Mary C. “Sue” Wesselkamper, DSW||1995-2008|
|Bro. Bernard J. Ploeger, S.M., PhD||2009-2017|
|Lynn M. Babington, Ph.D.||2017-|